The first few months at college can be the most difficult as the realities of schoolwork and missing home set in. You might even start regretting choosing a school far from home. The good news is lots of other students have gone before you and have conquered homesickness in a variety of ways. A couple of students shared the things they did to make being away from home easier.
Sarah Dunford grew up in California and oftentimes couldn't fly home from PHC in Purcellville, Virginia during breaks. She would normally hide under the covers and try to ignore how much she missed her family. But a friend noticed her sadness.
"She came by my room with popcorn and just sat with me," Sarah said. "When you're homesick, you need people, and often it's hard to acknowledge that and seek out friends when you're sad. Remember that you're not alone and other people experience it too. Be on the watch to help others when they need it."
Kara Lobley missed her family most during the holidays that she stayed on campus. She realized amidst her homesickness that she should be more proactive in overcoming it. She created new traditions during the holidays away from home that combined some of the elements she missed the most.
"My roommate and I bought eggs to hard-boil and dye. We hosted an egg-dying party in our dorm the Saturday before Easter. I also went to a Maundy Thursday service, like I would have at home, but it was at a completely different denomination, which was cool. At the end of that break, I was recharged, excited, and ready to take on the rest of the semester," she said.
Dawson Frasier found he felt most homesick the first few weeks of his freshman year before the busyness of the semester set in. Thankfully, his family was good about checking in and encouraging him. As his studies got underway, he called home often to share about his college experience.
He said, "Bringing [my family] into my everyday life at college by calling them frequently made me feel like they were a little bit closer."
Not everyone misses home. If you are a student who isn't prone to homesickness, reach out to those who may be struggling. Invite them to your movie nights or just let them know you're there if they need a friend. You never know if you're the thing someone needs to turn a lonely day into a better one.
No matter if you're at college on a different coast or only a few miles down the road, battling homesickness can be a struggle. Make good friends, be proactive about seeking out fun things to do within your dorm life, and when you are at home—enjoy it!
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